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Using the fundamentals of Joe Pilates’s work, philosophy, and exercises with modifications, this step-by-step guide for practicing the modern Pilates method offers a safe exercise plan for beginners as well as advanced enthusiasts, and for those of any age and fitness level, including pregnant women and post-traumatic practitioners. It explains the origins of the Pilates method, its transformation into modern Pilates, and exactly how it can benefit practitioners. Unlike the traditional method, which focuses on constantly holding in the lower abdomen and on extremely effortful movements, modern Pilates is firmly based on the functional movement possibilities of the body. The exercises in this book are influenced by developments in therapeutic massage, osteopathy, and the Feldenkrais method, Butoh (a Japanese performance art developed in the 1950s), and ante- and postnatal work. With easy-to-understand diagrams, drawings, and photos, it provides exercises for maintaining good posture, fitness, strength, grace, flexibility, and freedom from injury.